Acta zoológica mexicana
Print version ISSN 0065-1737
HERNANDEZ-CASTELLANOS, Benito; BAROIS, Isabelle; BROWN, George G. and GARCIA-PEREZ, José Antonio. Chemical changes induced by two geophagous earthworm species in soils from Veracruz, Mexico. Acta Zool. Mex [online]. 2010, vol.26, n.spe2, pp. 295-308. ISSN 0065-1737.
Two earthworm species, one exotic (Pontoscolex corethrurus) and the other one native (Glossoscolecidae sp.) from Veracruz, Mexico, were cultivated under laboratory conditions, to collect their castings every 48 h, measure cast production rates and their effects on soil chemical conditions and the concentration of several plant-available nutrients. Both species were cultivated in an Alfisol (La Víbora) and P. corethrurus was also raised in two other soil types, a Vertisol (Plan de las Hayas) and an Andosol (Los Tuxtlas), to measure pH, C, N, C/N, NO3, NH4 Na, K, Ca, Mg, CIC, available- total-and resin-P, Al, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn in the casts and control soil. P. corethrurus surface cast production was highest in soils with low organic matter content. In the Alfisol, Glossoscolecidae sp. produced less casts than P. corethrurus, but promoted the availability of most plant nutrients, especially K, Na Mg, Mn, Fe, K and NH4. Pontoscolex corethrurus promoted the concentration of most parameters compared with the control in the Andosol and Vertisol; in the Alfisol, about half the parameters were significantly affected. Pontoscolex corethrurus has a high capacity to adapt to different soils and modify their chemical characteristics, promoting the availability of several plant nutrients; this is especially important in organic matter-poor soils, such as the Alfisol.
Keywords : Mineralization; nutrients; Pontoscolex corethrurus; Glossoscolecidae; exotic and native species.